Social Advertising 101: Starting with Facebook Ads

If you’re new to social advertising, and you’re like most business owners, you want to know that you are choosing the right strategy and getting the most from your marketing dollars.

Without a doubt, the first stop to make in the social advertising space is on Facebook. Not only does Facebook have the largest audience at over 1.4 billion, but it also provides the deepest set of targeting options and the most developed ads delivery platform of the major social players to date.

Furthermore, statistics show that users engage most strongly with Facebook vs. other major social media platforms.

Facebook Engagement Statistics


Now that you’ve made the decision to leverage one of the world’s largest demographic data warehouses (Facebook) to start your marketing efforts, you’ll need to address the following:

Choose Your Facebook Advertising Objective

The engineering team at Facebook has developed the ability for advertisers to meet a wide variety of marketing objectives on the platform based on what will best serve the advertiser’s marketing needs.

Clicks to Website

With this objective, advertisers can send users to specific sections of your website. The destination or landing page is where users can learn more about or even purchase the product or service featured in the ad.

Website Conversions

This objective attracts Facebook users that are most likely to convert based on the demographic, behavioral, and interest data of Facebook users that have already converted. In other words, Facebook is able to learn what your customers have in common, and will serve your ads to folks that are similar.

Page Post Engagement

This objective will increase the reach of your Facebook content. Without advertising your posts, they are likely seen by less than 5% of your followers.

Page Likes

This builds your following with people that fit your ideal client persona.

App Installs

As its name suggests, this objective will promote the download of your app.

App Engagement

This objective allows you to promote increased engagement and use of your app among Facebook users that have already downloaded it.

Local Awareness

With this objective, you’re able to promote your business to your community.

*Bonus Tip: With this objective, you are also able to feature a “Call” button that allows users to call you directly from the ad on their mobile devices with a single touch of their finger.

Event Responses

With this objective, you’re able to drive attendance to your events.

Offer Claims

Here, you’re able to advertise timely discounts and special promotions for people to claim in your store.

Video Views

If you have a message to deliver in video format, this objective helps you spread the word.

Lead Generation

With this objective, targeted users are able to complete the form you create without even needing to leave the Facebook platform. This is a very efficient way for you to gather new leads, because it reduces the number of steps involved in the process.

Create Your Facebook Online Advertising Audience

There are countless ways to tailor your target audience for Facebook ads, but the primary building blocks are listed below. Use the features that are most important to creating your desired marketing results.


You’re able to advertise to users targeted by age from 13-65+


With this feature, you’re able to reach users on the basis of their Country, City, or even Zip Code.


Target on the basis of Education, Ethnic Affinity, Income, Home Ownership, Life Events (like an upcoming birthday or anniversary), Parental Status, Political Affiliations, Relationship Status, Employment and more.


Here advertisers are able to target on the basis of a wide range behavioral characteristics ranging from when a user purchased their vehicle, to whether or not they give to charity to which mobile device they carry, to their affinity for travel and much, much more.


Through Interests, advertisers can target based upon the types of pages users have liked. There are thousands upon thousands of subjects covered on pages that users have liked on Facebook. However large or small the topic’s following, if your business can profit from it, you can connect with the right people here.

Custom Audiences

With this feature, advertisers are able to customize an audience in several ways. They can target users based upon email lists, and cell phone lists they may have. They can remarket to people that visited or viewed specific pages or products on their website with recognizable content. And they can also create a “Lookalike” audience that mimics the demographic, interest, and behavioral makeup of those that have already become customers.

Create Compelling Online Ads


This is the most important aspect of your program. Choose images that are interesting and engaging. Format them properly for the type of ad that you are running, and make sure that they meet Facebook’s guidelines so your ads are approved.


Make an impression with the characters that are allowed, and be sure to test various forms. Your audience will tell you what they like through their response metrics.

Ad Formats & Placements

There are a number of different formats available. Take advantage of this. Test the effectiveness of ads that run on desktop vs mobile, test the right hand placement vs the newsfeed, and see how carousel ads stack up against traditional formats.

Measure, Learn & Optimize Your Online Advertising Strategy

The most important feature of Facebook advertising is the detailed reporting metrics available. By properly structuring your accounts, and looking at relevant reporting metrics, you’re able to make objective decisions. By A/B testing your audiences, images, ad copy, and landing pages, you’ll be able to identify the most efficient and effective marketing approach for your business.

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